With a single unconstitutional ruling, Lina Hidalgo might’ve become Public Enemy #1 in Houstonians’ eyes. Hidalgo ruled that not wearing a mask in public in Harris County could earn them “180 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.” The backlash was swift and harsh, starting with Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and extending to the Houston Police Officers Union, aka HPOU.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted that “These kind of confused government policies fuel public anger and rightfully so.” Lt. Gov. Patrick noted “that Hidalgo’s order … was announced on the same day as plans surfaced for closing a costly temporary hospital ‘because it wasn’t needed.'”

The HPOU was the harshest critic. President Joe Gamaldi of Houston Police Officers’ Union Lodge 110 wrote in a statement “It is clear the so-called leader of Harris County lacks any critical thinking skills but let me assure the public, our officers do!”

This jumped out at me:

But Judge Lina Hidalgo’s action, which intended to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in the third most populous county in the U.S., drew immediate pushback — including from the state’s lieutenant governor, who called the move “the ultimate government overreach,” and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who wrote that “commonsense guidelines” should never lead to “unjust tyranny.”

If this isn’t part of Texas state statutes, then I don’t see how this is taken seriously. Without a law passed by the legislature, judges can’t just make up a crime. That requires enacting a law and getting the governor’s signature. I’d be surprised if the Texas Attorney General doesn’t smack this overreach down before it becomes ‘law’ on Monday.

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